How to Use the Solar Calculator
The best way to learn about local rebates, your home’s energy potential, and your eventual return on investment is to use our ModSun Solar Cost Calculator (see above). Enter your home address in the box, then click Check My Roof. You’ll get an instant picture of your roof’s productivity, your average energy expenses, and installation costs in your area—whether you decide to buy or loan. We’ll also provide system size recommendations and information about rebates and incentives you may be eligible for. Just select More Info under each purchasing strategy to learn more, and then connect with a solar pro.
Buying Solar Panels in Louisville
The American Lung Association has ranked Louisville the 15th most polluted city in the country in terms of air quality. This should hardly come as a surprise as Kentucky is the third largest producer of coal in the nation, and those coal-fired plants produce most of the state’s energy. In response to this ranking, the Louisville Sustainability Council was formed to help educate the public about sustainability and to provide resources to promote investment in cleaner energy like solar power. With an average 197 sunny days each year, Louisville is a great place to adopt solar. If you’re feeling skeptical about solar, take a virtual tour of Kentucky’s solar energy projects to see how solar is already beginning to work in your state.
Why Switch to Solar in Kentucky?
There are so many reasons why investing in a residential solar power system will benefit you and your community. One important reason is to protect your health, as well as the health of young children with developing respiratory systems. Additionally, solar power will allow the state to diversify its power supply as its older coal plants retire and fossil fuel prices increase, bringing new industry and new jobs to Kentucky. As a homeowner, solar can help you slash your energy bills in half and increase the value of your home. For each $1 saved in energy cost, you can expect your home value to increase by $20. Also, studies show that prospective homebuyers will pay a premium for homes with energy efficient features, especially important as eco-friendly millennials begin to enter the housing market en masse.
Is Solar Permitted Everywhere in Louisville?
Some homeowner’s associations (HOA) may have limitations on where you can install solar panels—whether they are roof or ground mounted. Your HOA can’t prohibit you from adding a solar power system to your home though, or make unreasonable requests that will make your system less effective. The state of Kentucky provides solar easements for the expressed purpose of ensuring access to direct sunlight. Easements must be expressed in writing and will become an interest in real property that may be acquired and transferred.
What are the Financial Incentives to Switch to Solar in Louisville?
The Federal government offers a 30% tax credit for taxpayers who invest in a solar power system including solar heaters and photovoltaics (PV). There is no dollar limit on the credit, so homeowners investing in any size solar electric system will reap the benefits of this credit. Additionally, if the credit exceeds your tax liability for the year, you can carry it over to the subsequent tax year. This credit is valid for solar electric systems installed through December 31, 2019. After that date, the credit will still exist, but it diminishes significantly with each passing year. In addition to the federal credit, the state of Kentucky also offers the following incentives:
Renewable Energy Tax Credit: This credit is available for homeowners who invest in PV systems or solar hot water heating. The rebate cover up to 30% of installation fees up to $500. For PV systems, the rebate works differently– calculated at $3.00 for each watt of direct current of the rated capacity of the system. For your solar hot water heating system to qualify, it must have a manufacturer’s warranty of at least five years, an installer’s warranty of at least two years, and use Solar Rating and Certification Corporation-certified collectors. For a PV system, it must be installed by a company certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, and its panels and inverters must be certified by Underwriter’s Laboratories and meet article 690 of the National Electrical Code.
TVA Generation Partners Program: If you use one of the 91 participating power companies serviced by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), you may qualify for a partnership program where you can earn discounts on your power bill from renewable energy, or even make money if your renewable energy system produces more power than you consume. If you have a PV system with an alternating current output between 500 W and 200 kW, and your local power supplier participates in the program, the TVA will purchase 100 percent of the energy at $0.12 per kWh, in the form of credits on your power bill, and periodic payments for excess credits you earn. More information can be found at the TVA website or by calling 866-673-4340.
Net Metering: Louisville Gas & Electric (LG&E) offers net metering to customers who generate solar power at their home. Net metering allows homeowners to generate renewable electricity to power their homes and LG&E will apply a credit toward the customer’s future power needs for any excess power generated.
With so many good reasons to adopt solar, and prices that are lower than ever thanks to incentives at the federal and state level, now is the time to invest in a solar power system for your home. Consult with one of Louisville’s many licensed solar installers to determine what type and size system will work best for you based on your monthly energy use and your budget.